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City Expands Outreach to Parents on Pre-K, Kindergarten and G&T Admissions

By Amy Zimmer | October 24, 2016 7:16am
 Pre-K students at Park Slope's P.S. 282 get up close and personal with worms during a lesson about composting.
Pre-K students at Park Slope's P.S. 282 get up close and personal with worms during a lesson about composting.
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Aaron Matthews

MANHATTAN — Getting information and questions answered about pre-K, kindergarten and gifted and talented programs is about to get easier for families across the boroughs.

The Department of Education is launching a new program called “It’s Elementary!” where, for the first time ever, officials will hold presentations, with Q&A sessions, on admissions processes in all 32 community school districts, the DOE is expected to announce Monday. The events will have interpreters and material in 10 languages.

Previously, there were only five borough-wide events for families who had questions about applying to pre-K, kindergarten or gifted and talented programs — and there were separate events for each of these admissions processes.

“It’s Elementary! events are really about meeting them where they are — by bringing these events into their neighborhoods and offering more and better information,” Chancellor Carmen Fariña said in a statement. “I look forward to continued collaboration with families and educators to make admissions processes to all our great schools more accessible.”

By having information on pre-K, kindergarten and G&T together, the DOE hopes it will help save time for families looking to create a longer-term plan for their 4-year-olds.

The events will, for the first time, include stations where families can learn about options for their zoned neighborhood schools as well as non-zoned lottery-based schools. There will be sign-ups for the G&T test. And pre-K enrollment specialists will be on hand to provide additional support.

Families who want to have their children tested for G&T must register by Nov. 14. Kindergarten applications are expected to open in December while Pre-K applications are expected to open in late January. 

For both pre-K and kindergarten, families can rank up to 12 programs in one online application.

DOE staff will also address support services, including transportation, special education, English Language Learner programs and SchoolFood, which provides free breakfast and lunch to all pre-K students in the city’s free program, whether in public schools or early education childhood centers.

Families can find additional information about elementary school admissions online, by calling 718-935-2009, or by visiting a Family Welcome Center.

Here is the schedule for the events across the city.

DOE Pre-K, K and G&T Info Session Schedule by DNAinfoNewYork on Scribd